“Don’t look at me like that. I don’t need this child. Take it.” A stranger abruptly handed me the baby carrier. I didn’t understand what was happening. After a while, it dawned on me that I was holding a baby in my arms.

With my husband, we always lived in harmony and rarely had arguments. I tried to be a decent wife and homemaker. We got married while still in university. Later, I became pregnant, and we had twin girls. As the kids grew, we started our own small business. I assisted my husband part-time, as taking care of the children and managing the household kept me occupied. Cooking was my greatest passion.
My husband always looked forward to weekends when I would surprise him with something delicious. I tried to come up with a new dish each time, and he was the main taste tester.

Our children were always curious about what new dish mom would prepare. Amidst all the responsibilities – children, household, work – I never paid attention to what my husband was up to. I could never fathom that this person would betray me. The past year had been tough for us. Business was struggling, and we did our best to keep it afloat.
My husband even had to travel to other regions to secure new contracts. The children started first grade, so I was with them. One day, returning home from work with my husband, we were greeted by a surprise in the form of an unknown beautiful woman.

As we exited the car, this stranger approached, handing me a baby carrier, saying, “Don’t look at me like that! I don’t need this child if he doesn’t want to be with me. Take him!” She yelled, pointing her finger at my husband. I stood there rooted, not understanding what was happening. “You promised to leave her and be with me! If not, I don’t need this child!” The woman spat at my feet, turned on her heels, and left. My shock lasted for a few minutes until I realized I was holding a carrier with a newborn.

I didn’t ask my husband anything; I could tell from his eyes who that woman was, and he simply wanted to disappear. We silently went up to the apartment. In the carrier lay a baby boy, about two weeks old. “Pick up the kids from school and buy everything I’ll write for the baby!” My husband nodded silently. Eighteen years have passed since then. Many friends judged me; they didn’t understand why I kept someone else’s child when I already had two daughters. But I was not one of those for whom children are only blood-related. I did not ask my husband about that woman. I raised the child as my own son. The girls were happy to have a younger brother. We didn’t hide the truth from our son; when he grew up, we explained the entire situation. Surprisingly, he took it calmly, not even inquiring about his biological mother. And I was happy. I had three wonderful children who loved us. Relations with my husband deteriorated since then, but he tries to make amends as much as he can.

On our son’s eighteenth birthday, we decided to celebrate as a family. The daughters were supposed to come; they are now married and live separately. We just wanted to sit down at the table when the doorbell rang. We weren’t expecting more guests, so it alarmed me. Something had been bothering me all day, and I wasn’t mistaken.
When I entered the corridor, I saw a disheveled woman who resembled the lady who handed me my son years ago. “I want to talk to my son,” this lady croaked. “You have no son here!” We replied in unison. Our son closed the door in front of this woman and invited everyone to the table. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I was happy to have such a wonderful son, even if not by blood.

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